My goal was to become a proper knitter. I had a gorgeous stash of yarn from England of which I was oblivious to the exchange rate when I bought it. I needed to get knitting and I was still paralyzed.
I spent the greater part of 2007 leisurely exploring yarn stores within a 50 mile radius of where I live in the Sacramento region. I soon discovered that becoming a better knitter is not as easy as it sounds.
For me, British comedian Tracey Ullman sums it up best in her book Knit 2 Together. Tracy tells her knitting story something like this "that being British, everyone just expects that you know how to knit properly because you learned it from your Mum". For years Tracey only knit simple scarves. I was the same way. And although I am not British, I was struck with that same feeling as Tracey when you walk into a yarn shop, they presume you already know how to knit and it is rather embarrassing if you don't. I call this a bit of "knitting snobbery" if you will.
In 2007, I summoned up the courage to take a knitting class at a nearby LYS (local yarn store). I was excited. I felt I was finally on my way to becoming a better knitter! I remember signing up for the class. I told the yarn store clerk that I was a pretty good basic knitter. Peering at me from behind the counter, she piped up and asked me if I knew how to purl? I admitted I wasn't sure or perhaps I had forgotten. She curtly told me "then you are not knitter if you don't know how to purl". Boy, was I deflated!
I paid for the class and quickly called my friend Pamela who has been knitting since she was a teenager. Pamela gave me a quick refresher course on purling so I would be ready for my knitting class.
I survived the knitting class and learned how to make a simple roll brim hat in the round. I was so excited to finally knit something other than a garter stitch scarf. I went on to take another class on lace knitting and learned how to do the "feather and fan" stitch. I was building new skills but I was still hoping to find a fun shop more like Loop.
My Favorite LYS
(Local Yarn Store)
I finally found that shop like Loop.
In January 2008 I stopped in Knitique in Elk Grove, CA. The store was adorable. Not, too, big of a shop. Cozy describes it best. It had a cheerful "girlie" pink color theme that just made you feel good when you walked in.
I was welcomed by a friendly woman that told me all about the shop and it's owner, Danielle. There was a big knitting table in the back where ladies were chatting...I mean knitting. I left the shop, anxious to come back to take a class or two. It wasn't the closest knitting store to my home but I had a feeling this was the LYS for me!
I remember the moment I met Knitique's owner Danielle, I knew I found my shop! She is adorable just like her shop. Now that I know her, I like to say that she is warm and fuzzy just like the yarn she sells. She is the best knitter and teacher I know. She has been knitting her entire life and loves knitting. Her love for yarn and knitting is contagious. She also loves England and Paris, just like me. Now I just have to get her to plan a London/Paris knitting tour!
So thanks to Danielle and Knitique I now can do more now than just knit and purl.
For the record, I am slowly knitting up that gorgeous yarn that I brought back from England. I am no longer a paralyzed knitter.
The best part of my knitting story is that I have become a better knitter! My Great Grandmother G.G. and my Grandma Margaret would be so proud of me. Their knitting legacies live on through me and my love for knitting!
...more to come!